my rights and safety at work
HI. I teach in a special school. Some parts of this only teachers will be able to help with but other parts, anybody might. Sorry if its long.
At the begining of my pregnancy I had a scare just after a volatile child hit me in the chest. I don't know if it was related but the doctor wrote me a note saying I wasn't to work directly with aggressive pupils. I asked for a risk assessment as it still hadn't materialised. The head finally wrote me one and the deputy gave it me but said "thats it in theory but in practise..." and shrugged.
I'm still in the same room (its the least violent of all the classes) and so far have managed to keep my distance from this child. Since then I have had a new child who is not deliberately violent but throws himself and objects around, so I tried to keep my distance from him too. Now I have a new pupil starting who is coming to us because he has been expelled from his previous school for violence to staff. Half of the week I will only have one assistant with me (one less than this year). One assistant can't deal with all three.
So... my question for any teachers is this... if I refuse to get involved and a pupil ends up injured (or worse) will I be liable? My pupils attack each other but I obviously don't want to separate them or get physically involved. I am worried of punches, kicks, chairs being thrown and tables being pushed into me. Also, some violence is because the children won't do their work and I make them. So what happens if I don't make them? Can I just say okay and then write down 0% progress on their end of term report?
My question for anyone else is this... are my employers behaving legally?
My father in law suggested I ask employers for written confirmation of having read the doctors note. Do you think this will work?
I'm dreading going back. I know all babies are precious but we had to have help for this one and it means more to me than my career does. I don't know what to say or do